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The City Who Fought coverThe City Who Fought by Anne McCaffrey and S.M. Stirling

Published by Baen Books

Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel

The City Who Fought by Anne McCaffrey and S. M. Stirling. This collaboration could be summed up as "The Ship Who Sang meets the Domination of the Draka." Simeon is a brain in charge of a giant orbital station (the "city" of the title). He enjoys playing wargame simulations and dreams of being a brainship. But when his station is taken over by a group of brutal Kolnari who were pursuing the refugees from a world that they just sacked, he must fight for real and discovers that war isn't all fun and games.

Although the Kolnari resemble the Draka in many ways, they lack most of the Draka's more redeeming features -- their sense of honor, their ability to be gentle and kind with obedient serfs, their love of beauty and their strong sense of responsibility toward the maintenence of the land. Those redeeming qualities made the Draka grayed villians instead of purely evil ones. But the Kolnari have few, if any, redeeming qualities. They are some of the most loathsome villians I've read in a book as well-written as this. But at the same time they don't come off as cariacatures.

When I first read this, I though that the ending, while satisfying, could certainly be used as a set-up for a sequel. And S.M. Stirling has obliged us. Working alone, he has written The Ship Avenged

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Review posted May 19, 1999

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